Q: How can I get rid of my Christmas tree in Madison when the holiday is over?
A: If you live in Madison and you are one of the millions of Americans who purchased a real Christmas tree this year, you can recycle or reuse the tree yourself, or you can have the city’s Streets Division pick it up for free to be recycled.
The city will pick up trees in two rounds. Weather permitting, the first one starts Jan. 2 and the second on Jan. 16.
For those who miss the curbside pickup periods, trees can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays at 1501 W. Badger Road or 4602 Sycamore Ave.
“Your best bet is to take advantage of those prescribed times ... or use the drop off sites,” said Bryan Johnson, Streets Division recycling coordinator.
Collected trees will be taken to the city’s brush processing facility, 121 E. Olin Ave., where they will be turned into mulch, Johnson said.
Trees should be stripped of ornaments, lights, bags and tree stands, and placed at the street’s edge.
Johnson said that other decorations, such as wreaths, won’t be collected because they often are made with metal wiring that could damage the city’s wood-chipping equipment.
For those who would rather recycle on their own, trees can be used to create sand and soil erosion barriers, fish habitat when sunk in a body of water, or backyard bird feeders and sanctuaries, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
About 25 million to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year, according to the association.